A Lithuanian national was jailed for one year for producing a knife, engaging in threatening behaviour and obstructing gardaí following an incident on an afternoon in the square in Skibbereen arising out of an altercation between dogs.
Judge Dara Hayes said at Cork Circuit Criminal Court that 45-year-old Marius Karanauskas, of Upper Bridge Street, Skibbereen, County Cork, had been – as the defence submitted – sitting outside a café minding his own business when two dogs attacked his dog.
However, the judge also said, “Nevertheless he significantly over-reacted and created a significant public order offence.”
The judge imposed a total sentence of 18 months with the last six months suspended and backdated to March as he has been in custody since then.
Karanauskas pleaded guilty to engaging in threatening behaviour, obstructing gardaí and producing a knife.
The knife was described by Garda Jonathan O’Donovan as falling from the defendant’s pocket and not being produced in a threatening manner towards anyone present.
Margaret Breen, who was walking by with her two dogs at the time gave a victim statement in which he said, “I was terrified and frightened for my life. This fear has not left me. This fear is always present in my life.”
The prosecution did not proceed with charges of the accused man allegedly threatening to kill her and to kill another woman.
Judge Hayes said, “While I accept he did not set out to commit these offences I have no doubt it was a terrifying experience for Ms Breen and I have taken account of that.”
Sinéad Behan defence barrister said, “He was sitting outside a café. He had a dog with him. One of complainants was walking two larger dogs on leads. His dog is a smaller dog on an extendable lead. His dog was savagely attacked by the other dogs and had extensive injuries.”
Ms Behan said in relation to the allegations about producing a knife, “He purchased the knife earlier that day and it fell from his pocket.”
The alleged incident occurred after 3 p.m. on March 29. Garda O’Donovan said the accused had to be forcibly held against the side of the garda patrol car for approximately 30 minutes until further garda assistance arrived.
During this time he was threatening and abusive, spat at gardaí and called them ‘motherf***ers’.